View synonyms for formality


[ fawr-mal-i-tee ]


, plural for·mal·i·ties.
  1. condition or quality of being formal; accordance with required or traditional rules, procedures, etc.; conventionality.
  2. rigorously methodical character.
  3. strict adherence to established rules and procedures; rigidity.
  4. observance of form or ceremony.
  5. marked or excessive ceremoniousness.
  6. an established order or method of proceeding:

    the formalities of judicial process.

  7. a formal act or observance.

    Synonyms: ceremony, ritual, rite

  8. something done merely or mainly for form's sake; a requirement of custom or etiquette:

    the formality of a thank-you note.


/ fɔːˈmælɪtɪ /


  1. a requirement of rule, custom, etiquette, etc
  2. the condition or quality of being formal or conventional
  3. strict or excessive observance of form, ceremony, etc
  4. an established, proper, or conventional method, act, or procedure

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Word History and Origins

Origin of formality1

From the Latin word fōrmālitās, dating back to 1525–35. See formal 1, -ity

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Example Sentences

Aside from establishing the level of formality, those giving weddings must rely on the judgment of the participants.

Currently, thousands of troops are stationed inside and outside the building, and the situational response is taking on a formality and sophistication akin to a military operation.

In reality, Pence does have a role to play when Congress meets to certify the Electoral College’s votes on January 6, but it is more a formality than anything.

From Vox

While it’s only a formality at this point, the state Legislature still needs to confirm Assemblywoman Shirley Weber as secretary of state.

With less formality and more announcements than any other prestige show, the video games industry has an awards show that tries to be its mirror.

It was both stylish and somber while being suitably grand for the formality of the occasion.

Or so the chapter titles formally name him, in a nod, perhaps, to his pained formality.

Early marriage is mostly a formality, but girls traditionally leave school at that time.

FDR wanted to project easy grace rather than stiff formality—especially when communicating complicated matters.

These cities want to be the next London, and when they look at that city, they see order and formality.

It is not, however, the incident in itself that is now referred to, but only the formality ascribed to it in the narrative.

Accustomed to a written character, their eyes became wearied by the crabbedness and formality of type.

With great deliberation and much formality Wu-pom Nai proceeded to loosen the boy's heavy plaits of hair.

By-and-by all pretence of formality and order is put aside and the battle really begins.

Before I could reply, the door flew open without the formality of a knock, and old Mrs. Bolum ran in.


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